5 Easy Healthy Recipes to Boost Immunity
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ―Hippocrates
Did you know that the immune system’s army is in the stomach? Our immune system does an incredible job at protecting us from all those pesky germs that want to invade our bodies. Sometimes though, germs pass by it and we get sick. Thankfully, it is possible to intervene and give the immune system a helping hand. Afterall, to keep an army healthy, you need to nourish it with good food.
In this article, I will share some simple recipes that can help to boost immunity and assist in fighting those nasty germs and colds.
Ginger-spiced banana smoothie
Ginger is a well known antibacterial food as it has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to ease gut problems, and potentially even kill cancer cells. You can incorporate its anti-inflammatory properties by combining it with a dash of cinnamon and a handful of spinach – and together you’ve got a new favorite breakfast choice.
To make this smoothie you need:
- 3 bananas
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1 piece (½ inch) of ginger peeled (and grated)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cardamom (optional)
Start by blending the spinach with milk until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again. It makes two servings. If you are not used to spices, start with using just a little ginger and skipping the cardamom. You can also swap 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of yogurt.
Red cabbage healing smoothie
Freshly picked red cabbage has the highest concentration of flavonoids/antioxidants out of all the cabbages. Add in blackberries, with their high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, and you’ve got an excellent weapon for fighting a cold. Need more fighting power against a cold? Add in elderberry, which also contains high levels of vitamin C.
To make this smoothie, you need:
- 2 cups red cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 tsp elderberry extract (or ¼ cup of fruits)
- 1 medium orange
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of water
Start by blending the red cabbage, water and orange until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.
The rather odd looking pineapple has a lot of health benefits. It helps tackle colds, improves digestion, reduces inflammation, can protect against cancer, and helps keep your immune system in excellent shape. Add some yogurt into the mix and you have a great breakfast or snack to keep you healthy.
To make the parfait, you need:
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- ¾ cup yogurt
In a bowl or large glass, add the yogurt, then the pineapple on top. Sprinkle some seeds or berries on top.
You can replace the yogurt with cottage cheese and the pineapple with papaya, which is also known to help the immune system.
High in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, beans are a powerful tool to keep us healthy in the long run. They are also very affordable and can be turned into a variety of delicious dishes. Add onions to the mix, which contain powerful antioxidants and the ability to enhance your digestive system, and this soup should be one of your foolproof recipes to helping you live a healthier life.
To make the bean soup, you need:
- 1/3 cup each of black beans, kidney beans, and great northern beans, dried
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 4 cups (homemade) vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ cup barley
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 9 cups water
- salt to taste
Boil the water in a kettle. Start by heating the oil. Then add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook on a medium heat until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Then add in the other ingredients. The cooking time depends on the beans and may take up to 2 ½ hours. Make sure to add water as needed.
Beetroot (beets) are known to lower blood pressure, improve stamina, fight inflammation, protect against cancer, and are a good source of vitamin C, too. It is a small wonder that they are known as one of the healthiest foods you should eat on a regular basis.
To make beetroot hummus, you need:
- 1 medium beet (boiled or raw)
- 1 small can chickpeas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of ½ lemon (or to taste)
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp tahini (optional)
- 1 tsp paprika (optional)
If you prefer to use boiled beets, do so before you make the hummus. Once completely cooled, grate it or use a food processor. In the food processor, add the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Then add the tahini and paprika. Now you are ready for the beets. Add them in and mix well. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a vertical (immersion) blender to make the hummus. Then just add the grated beets. A more earthy taste can be obtained if you use raw beets instead.
Cris Puscas is a contributing writer at BookCulinaryVacations.com, the best place to book a culinary vacation. She is a hopeless romantic; equally passionate about discovering new places to explore as well as new foods to try.